Lifeformed (Terence Lee) and Janice Kwan

Musicians / Designers

Lifeformed (Terence Lee) and Janice Kwan make music, games, and art together. Recently, they co-composed the soundtrack for the indie game, TUNIC. In the past, Terence composed the music for the indie game Dustforce and the documentary, 'A Double Fine Adventure!'. They live in Taipei, Taiwan, where they enjoy finding secret cats in the alleys and mountains, and recording the sounds of everyday life.

Sessions by Lifeformed (Terence Lee) and Janice Kwan

Game music as expression, not as commodity

In-Person Day 2 - 13:00 - 14:00
Language: English (accompanied with Mandarin/Chinese subtitles.)

For game music to be meaningful, its creation process needs room to express the essence of the musician as much as the essence of the game. This isn't about indulging some self-important need of musicians, but about recognizing that creative works are often strongest when their existence feels guided by lived experiences. Letting a musician express themselves through their music, instead of blindly sticking to ideas about what game music should be, gives the soundtrack coherence and strengthens the game as a whole. 

Lifeformed (Terence Lee) and Janice Kwan, the composers for the 2022 indie game, TUNIC, talk about what it means to express oneself in creative work, especially in more abstract mediums like instrumental music. How does one balance their own personal expression with the needs of the game? How can the game's design guide the musical direction in a way that deepens the audience's experience of the game as well as their connection to the music?

The intended audience is you, someone who wants the things they make to form a connection with their audience beyond just being a transaction on an app store. This isn't about putting explicit messages of meaning in your work, but rather about the subtleties that arise from letting your tastes and values guide you. The goal is for you to feel confident in your own style, to not be misled by genres and correctness. You must not erase yourself out of a misguided pursuit to fit what you think the game needs. What the game needs is you, a human, to breathe your humanity into its digital dreams.